This article is part of our Fight Stat Wrap series.
The UFC returned to the United States for the finale of the 24th season of The Ultimate Fighter on Saturday, and the stakes were a bit higher this time around. In the main event, season winner Tim Elliott challenged champion Demetrious Johnson for the UFC flyweight title, and even gave him a bit of a scare along the way. The following is a by-the-numbers recap that highlights the stats and milestones that stood out on the main card, with stats courtesy of FightMetric.com.
Demetrious Johnson grinds his way to decision win over Tim Elliott
For a few moments, it looked as if Elliott was going to pull the huge upset and defeat the champion . It didn't last long, however, as Johnson showed why he is one of the best fighters in the sport by changing his style and dominating. Elliott's reach and size advantage gave Johnson a lot of trouble in the striking department, so he switched to an almost entirely wrestling based approach. Johnson landed five takedowns and advanced position on the ground 11 times. Elliot tried to remain active, and he did land 110 strikes. However, only 24 were considered "significant," since Johnson's pressure did not allow him room to strike.
Joseph Benavidez never allowed Henry Cejudo to implement his wrestling
From a statistics perspective, this fight was about as close as possible. Benavidez landed 69 significant strikes at a 29 percent clip, while Cejudo landed 68 significant strikes at a 34 percent clip. Benavidez was the more active fighter, as he attempted 232 strikes, while Cejudo attempted 197. One of the key elements of Benavidez's success was his ability to stuff takedowns against the Olympic gold medalist wrestler. Cejudo attempted seven takedowns over the course of the fight, but he was only credited with one landed (per FightMetric).
Jorge Masvidal puts on a striking clinic before strange stoppage
Despite the bizarre ending, this bout was shaping up to be a showcase fight for Masvidal. At the time of the stoppage, Masvidal was landing 10.78 significant strikes per minute, which is well above his career rate of 4.20. His pace was also giving Jake Ellenberger trouble, as he only managed to land 11 significant strikes and missed 65 percent of his significant strike attempts.
Jared Cannonier relies on stamina in light heavyweight debut
In his first fight at light heavyweight in the UFC, Cannonier showed up some pretty impressive stamina. Ion Cutelaba came out and dominated the first round by outlanding Cannonier 24 to 11 and landing a pair of takedowns. Momentum started to shift ver the next two rounds, however, as Cannonier was the one getting the better of the striking. He outlanded Cutelaba 48 to 21 in terms of significant strikes in the final two rounds. Cutelaba was able to still land four takedowns, but Cannonier defended well and got back to his feet.
Sara McMann shows off developing submission game against Alexis Davis
On paper this fight was an interesting style matchup. McMann has depended on her wrestling in her MMA career, while Davis does some of her best work on her back. Early in the first round, it looked like McMann was getting the better of the striking exchanges, but she opted to shoot for a takedown. Davis persistently pressed for submissions and landed some heavy strikes from the bottom. However, the momentum turned in the second round. This time McMann was able to pass twice and lock on the fight-ending submission. Prior to this fight, McMann had landed 10 takedowns and never finished via submission.
Brandon Moreno strikes his way to second UFC win over Ryan Benoit
Moreno proved his UFC debut victory over Louis Smolka was not a fluke with a second win here. Against Smolka, he showed off his submission game, but in this one his striking carried him. He outlanded Benoit in all three rounds and finished with the significant strike advantage 54 to 23. He was the much more aggressive fighter as he attempted 167 strikes and 13 takedowns. Benoit only manage to attempt 95 strikes and one takedown.